Last modified on May 26, 2009, at 13:23

Confraternity Bible

The Confraternity Bible refers to the English-language Bible widely used in Catholic churches in the United States between 1941 and 1970. The Confraternity New Testament was translated from the Latin Vulgate. The New Testament portion of the first editions of the Confraternity Bible is the Confraternity version in modern English issued in 1941, while the Old Testament portion (at least in the early editions) is the Challoner revision of the Douay-Rheims Bible, which is not in modern English. For this reason, the Confraternity Bible is sometimes called the Douay-Confraternity Bible. A Confraternity translation of the Old Testament was never wholly completed, because in 1943 a Papal encyclical letter was issued from the Vatican that Catholic translations of the Bible should begin to translate from the original languages rather than from the Latin Vulgate. Some Confraternity Bibles exist with some of the Old Testament books being modern translations completed from their original languages after 1941 and some of them from the Douay-Rheims.

Most of the new post-1941 translations of Old Testament books which made their way into some versions of the Confraternity Bible were used unchanged in the New American Bible, while the New Testament was translated anew for the NAB. The release of the NAB in 1970 caused the Confraternity Bible to quickly fall into disuse, and it is quite hard to find today, although fondly remembered by older Catholics who used it during the mid-20th Century and also favored by Traditionalist Catholics who view the NAB (with its politically correct "gender-inclusive" language) as too liberal. A pocket-sized Confraternity New Testament is currently in print, ISBN 0-933932-77-4, Scepter Publishers.